The last tango in Barcelona

Add and follow the list of businesses that will not reopen when the Government lifts the restrictions. There won’t be time for one last final dance in the Tango, the endearing nightclub that leaves orphans hundreds of unconditional mature men who cheered up their afternoons between bachatas, pasodobles, rumbas, boleros, tangos and also commercial hits. The rigors of pandemic times had kept their track closed since March, too many months to resist with a few Devastating fixed expenses for an empty box of income.

The curtain has been dropped without being able to fire the many retirees – with an average of 65 years– who kept in shape to the sound of their orchestras. “During the week, hardly any expenses were covered, but it was very gratifying to see the elderly enjoy themselves. And the weekend was very lively,” says Marco Antonio García, administrator of the company, doomed to bankruptcy. The room, which has written several decades of fun in the Eixample, already went through another bankruptcy five years ago. So they took over his management night businessmen who (with different companies and alignments) already run venues such as Arena Metro, Arena Clàssic and Safari Disco Club, which they hope to keep afloat if aid from the Administration arrives.

Refloating the business was hard, but little by little they managed to renovate part of the facilities and services, although it still looked markedly retro interior design, memory of other times. Marco says that the key was to give him a double life to Tango, with afternoons of hard dancing and nights as a disco for the LGTBI public, with a capacity that over time and the new regulations adjusted to about 700 people.

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Low minimum leisure

The viability of the premises has crashed with a health crisis that is leaving KO to the nightlife sector. Starting with a rental that weighed like a slab. “It was 40,000 euros a month plus IBI”, details the same source. After several months of non-payment, they managed to renegotiate it with the property (a large holder) and reduce the debt, but now that monthly fee was required of them again, despite the fact that the dance will continue to be banned for several months. If you add the Social Security of a staff of 37 people (with which it claims to have reached agreements) and bills of 1,500 euros for electricity for the large power contracted, the bankruptcy was pure mathematics, he explains.

There will no longer be a resurrection of Tango, because the license is owned by society. Another commercial future awaits those listed 2,500 square meters. But what will happen to the afternoons of the bailongos? Other rooms with the same soundtrack are also in check, confirms Ramón Mas, president of the Guild of Nightclub Entrepreneurs of Barcelona, which has been asking for months to reopen and for financial aid to prevent an avalanche of closures.

Older people run the risk of running out of spaces to have fun, move the hips, socialize or even flirt in person. They draw a less profitable public in terms of drink consumption, the sector admits, but in a schedule and profile that does not generate problems or incitement, quite the opposite. In Tango they even got pasta appetizers and ham dishes, which will never come back.

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